Timberwolves coach expects Rubio to play Tuesday vs. Magic

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Minnesota Timberwolves coach Sam Mitchell says he expects point guard Ricky Rubio to return from a two-game absence on Tuesday night against Orlando.

Rubio missed the previous two games with a sore left ankle, the same one that was surgically repaired in the offseason. Rubio practiced fully on Monday and Mitchell says that he will return to the starting lineup provided he suffers no setbacks before game time.

Rubio is averaging 10.7 points and 8.5 assists this season. He has missed six games because of injuries this season. Vice president of sports performance Arnie Kander says it was his call for Rubio not to play the last two games as a precaution.

Kander also says Nikola Pekovic could start doing some limited work in practice in about two weeks.